The San Jose Sharks are probably very happy to have their only visit to Winnipeg this season over and done with. While they may have lost 4-1 to the Jets on Sunday night, some players were probably feeling like it was a bit of a win not to have to worry about staying there again until 2018-19* (*barring a playoff meeting, of course).
Prior to Sunday’s game, NBC Sports California Tweeted a video featuring Tomas Hertl, Justin Braun and Tim Heed expressing their thoughts on the city of Winnipeg — thoughts that won’t be featured on any tourism brochures.
If they wanted to add one final zinger they could have asked Ilya Bryzgalov for his updated thoughts on Winnipeg’s park situation or caught up with Altitude TV’s Kyle Keefe about the weather.
CBC News went and asked Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, her thoughts on what the Sharks players said and she threw some shade their way.
“Given that the Jets beat the Sharks 4-1, I can understand that they don’t like Winnipeg. It’s never fun to lose,” she said, offering to help them see the city in a better light.
“Once the NHL playoffs get into full swing and the Sharks have some more time on their hands I’d be happy to tour them around and show them all that Winnipeg has to offer — festivals, food trucks, sunshine, world-class attractions and one of the best culinary scenes in the country.
“If they want to take me up on my offer, we could even invite them to a Jets playoff game.”
As Jets fans like to do to certain opposing players, Bryzgalov was serenaded by them when he played there a few years after his comments. You can be certain they won’t forget next time those three players are in town.
UPDATE: Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister weighs in:
UPDATE #2: As you can see, NBC California has since deleted the controversial Tweet. Tueday has been an eventful day of responses. First, Jets head coach Paul Maurice spoke out, and now Sharks GM Doug Wilson said this to the Mercury News:
“It’s disappointing that our broadcast partner would put our players in that position. First of all, by even asking that question, then putting it on our broadcast. That was a question that was one of 30 that were asked earlier in the year. To me, it was an inappropriate question that should not have been asked. Whether it was an attempt at humor, it was not appropriate.”
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.